The Metagame Report May 29–June 3

In a pretty big departure from my usual articles, I will be taking over the weekly metagame report for the time being with (I hope) some occasional more in-depth pieces on analysis/theory/life stories. The column’s focus is on the Standard metagame (and in the week before non-Standard Constructed Grands Prix (GP), we’ll take a look at those as well) and its development across both Magic Online and the SCG Open circuit.

Brief aside on the StarCityGames Open Series circuit:The removal of the monetary rewards and free entry from the player’s club essentially decreased its importance and relevance as a force in the overall metagame from near-GP level down to that of a Magic Online premier event. There is no longer reasons (besides the insanely positive-EV invitational) for the grinder class of players to travel for these events, which leads them to be solely regional affairs. However, some regions (such as SCG Nashville) contain a high concentration of the former grinders and produce significant results as can be seen by last week’s Delver deck.

Delver of Secrets
Live and online results will generally be segregated for a few reasons:

  • The Magic Online metagame is significantly different than the live metagame for reasons such as card availability and lower rewards for innovation.
  • The data available from Magic Online is much larger than that available from live events, so the metagame online evolves much faster and is more inbred than the metagame in live events.

The difficulty in any article series such as this is that the metagame represented by posted results is the metagame of winning decks and does not include decks that are widely played but perform poorly. In the future, I will try my best to include a picture of the overall metagame by recording the overall results of a few Daily Events, but due to time constraints, I didn’t get around to it this week.

I think the best general structure for this article is to post a picture of the metagame (both live and online) and then provide lists for the most prevalent archetypes along with a more specific focus on one deck for the week. If you have anything else you’d like to see, please say so in the comments, and I’ll try to incorporate your suggestions into future editions.

Pro Tour Qualifier Top 8s

Top 8Top 4Finals Wins
Delver15842
Birthing Pod5221
G/U Ramp1111
Wolf Run Ramp7520
G/W Ramp1000
Esper Control3200
R/G Aggro3100
Naya2000
Reanimator1111
Zombies1000
U/R Control1000

SCG Ohio

Top 8Top 4Finals Wins
Solar Flare1111
Zombies1110
Delver4200
Naya1000
Wolf Run1000

Magic Online

4–03–1
Delver922
Esper23
Birthing Pod14
R/W/U Miracles2
Zombies1
Wolf Run14
R/G Aggro9
U/B Control1
R/G/W/U2
Tokens1
Infect11

Yeah, Delver is good, and there’s no reason to not be playing it; I wish there were something more interesting to say, but it’s essentially Caw-Blade all over again. Delver is winning everything, crushing Magic Online, and being just by far the best deck in terms of performance. So if you plan on playing Standard (at least until Ponder is banned), play Delver or Grixis/Esper (as they’re both good against the newer versions of Devler with Restoration Angel).

Notable Decks

Deck of the week

Just play this. The deck has developed to a point that the metagame will most likely begin to become inbred as the Delver decks compete to be the best in the mirror, and in doing so, they might open some space in the metagame. I wish Standard was more interesting, but ummm, a W/U aggro-control deck is good again, so there’s not much else to say. Restoration Angel essentially singlehandedly shored up the match against R/G aggro, and the inclusion of Sword of Feast and Famine has made up for Ramp players gaining Cavern of Souls.

Chris Mascioli

@dieplstks on Twitter